Interview with Thomas Cannon
Author of Shattered
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Quick description of the book for a new reader - what should they expect?
- When Mikey Haskell’s fiancée leaves him, rage and self-imposed guilt continue to build until, at a turning point, he begins to retreat into the animalistic id of his consciousness. Tom Cannon creates an excellent story that is both grotesque and beautiful and outlines the mental breakdown of man and how it affects relationships and the idea of personal responsibility.
What was your inspiration for this book?
- Everyone has a fragile point in their lives. And while, I am no longer as fragile as I once was, ( I began writing this a long time ago) I think this vulnerability should be talked about.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
- Joseph Heller is my favorite author. Tom Robbins is my second. However the writer that influences me the most is John Updike. Like his works, Shattered is about inner struggle and told through a gritty story.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
- I lived in the Twin Cities for a year in 1991 and that is where and about when the story is set (1995). The area is a mixture of city and suburb life, but with Midwest values. There were nightclubs, but most were attached to bowling alleys. I loved the downtown of Saint Paul and the areas around the Mississippi River.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- My advice is to start where you are at and try to just get better each day. Try to write a little longer each day. Be ready to edit and read a lot.
Could you talk a little about your writing process?
- I just keep plugging along and increasing my knowledge of writing. At a certain point you have to set manuscripts aside and let them sit for a while.
Which character has had the greatest impact on readers?
If the book were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye ?
- Brag Garrett. My main character is a very big stand up comedian (physically).
How have readers responded ?
Where next? What are you working on now?
- I am current working on publishing a collection of short stories.
Mikey Haskell thought he figured it out. After six months on the road, realization that his best friend, Alaine, was his soul mate. But memories of the painful breakup with his ex-fiancée, Karen, fractured his heart. To escape the emotional conflict, he borrows the mantra of hecklers and slowly transforms his stage persona, and eventually his private life, to an animal existence. A caveman that threatens to shatter his very world into turmoil.
Will he realize what is happening to him? Can he pull himself out of the desperate delusion before it is too late? Is the relationship between him and Alaine destroyed forever?
Follow the lonely, overweight giant as he fights for his standup comedic career and travels from the edge of sanity to the unknown.